Grow Playlist: Phillip Henry – True North
Your Monthly music recommendation, brought to you in partnership with Becky Grinham; an Exeter-based musician who works in the music industry.
The days are shorter, our bellies grow bigger and we start to embrace the hygge feeling now that November has arrived. You’ll want to kick back with a mug of hot chocolate, light some candles and have a listen to this brand new album that has set the precious mood for coming winter months.
Commemorating ten years since his journey to Kolkata to study under the great slide guitarist, Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, Phillip Henry has embarked on his adventures from a life spent travelling the globe collecting tunes, stories and instruments to create a spellbinding album that is set out to demonstrate the slide guitars ‘infinite ability to sing to the soul’ – True North.
Released in October and recently sharing his musical stories as well as hosting a slide guitar masterclass at Exeter Phoenix, Phillip continues to scale the country throughout November on his True North solo tour to deliver a very special series of concerts that are guaranteed to inspire the mind and lighten the soul.
“The pieces have been translated from several different experiences, including kangaroo spotting in Australia, to learning tunes from a Canadian maestro on First Nations reservation land in Canada; songs of the road; and pieces written by musician friends from Kent to Kolkata.”
True North is a solo album produced by Henry and Mark Tucker at The Green Room in Devon, with a little help from a foot powered Shruti box, foot percussion and a hand fan with feathers attached to create a drone on the sympathetic strings. Well of course it is!
You may be familiar with Phillip and his exclusive instruments, from his celebrated partnership with fellow singer-songwriter, fiddle and banjo player, Hannah Martin, whom collaboratively are known as “Edgelarks”. In their journey they’ve created five acclaimed studio and live albums, embarked on countless tours spanning the globe, designed an ingenious show that only grows with personality, along with the acquisition of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Duo’ title in 2014.
Recently touring with Edgelarks, I’m no stranger to witnessing the sublime music they craft and the number of standing ovations they received in my time spent with them – they set the performance bar real high. But hearing ‘True North’ has shed a new light on Phillip’s compositions for me, I’m really grateful to have been able to share my baby steps on my music journey with such talent. Phillip is a sincere artist, truthful to the game; not only does he play 4 instruments at once (likely to increase in time) with outstanding quality, but he can nap in almost any location, fix anything with electrical tape and teach generations the art of guitar and beyond. Someone give that man a beer!
You can find music and more information at Phillip’s website or on his social media channels.
“Classy and entertaining – Henry is a remarkable player of the dobro and guitar” – Robin Denselow, The Guardian